Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Brand is History: Skinmarket

This store was a beauty playground aimed at the teen-to-twentysomething market. Fans of the store remember it for the lounge-like interior (the founder was inspired by his teenage stepdaughter's bedroom), the low-pressure sales environment and the unique makeup and skincare products. Their line included black-light-sensitive makeup, a holographic lip gloss called Lip Lava and an extensive selection of exotic nail polish shades. They also carried a small selection of boutique brands including DuWop. The first store opened on the West Coast in 1999. Over the next two years they expanded into malls across the country, then suddenly closed all 33 stores in 2002.

I believe Skinmarket had a great concept and they probably would have thrived if not for the post 9/11 economic downturn that claimed so many great chains and brands. I would love to see Sephora open a spinoff chain that caters to their younger shoppers, looking at Skinmarket as a model. Other chains have successfully achieved the youth-market spinoff including Crate & Barrel (CB2) and The Limited (Justice—originally called Limited Too). Since Sephora is a biblical name, it would be fitting for their spinoff to have one as well. Any suggestions?

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